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Friday, August 24, 2007

Philippines: Possible ferry bomber arrested

Reported here:
A suspected bomb courier for the al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf group in the Philippines has been arrested, police said Friday.

Gino Musa, 19, was apprehended on a Manila-bound ferry that was docked in Cebu city after bomb-sniffing dogs detected explosives — a 90mm recoilless rifle projectile and a rifle grenade — hidden inside the sack of corn and bananas Musa was carrying, said Philippine National Police intelligence director Chief Superintendent Raul Castaneda.

Musa said he was unaware explosives were in the sack, which he claimed he was paid 400 pesos (US$8.50; €6.25) to take to Manila by a man he met at a port in southern Maguindanao province, Castaneda said.

Police charged Musa with illegal possession of explosives, he said.

Police have been on full alert for attacks by the Abu Sayyaf in the wake of a massive military operation against the group on two southern islands.
Philippines police also found a bomb on a bus shortly before it was set to explode, as set out here
Police discovered a bomb on a passenger bus in the Philippines' restive south 15 minutes before it was timed to explode and just hours after a blast in the area wounded at least 14 people, officials said Wednesday.

A powerful time bomb hidden under a concrete bench exploded in a crowded square in Zamboanga city late Tuesday, wounding at least 14 people, said Zamboanga city Police Director Sr. Superintendent Manuel Barcena.

The bomb, staged amid already-tight security in the city, may have been set off by the al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf group to divert the military's focus from the offensives on nearby Jolo and Basilan islands, Barcena said.

Later Tuesday, police found another device on a bus after its passengers disembarked at a crowded terminal in Pagadian city in nearby Zamboanga del Sur province, city police chief Oscar Buenaobra said.

The bomb, hidden in a powdered milk can, was found 15 minutes before it was set to explode, and an army ordnance team defused it, Buenaobra said.

The bomb was timed to explode at midnight, when the bus was scheduled to arrive at the terminal. The bus driver may have saved lives by arriving early, the police chief said.
Another bomber nabbed on a ferry on his way to cause mischief as set out here.:
Police on Wednesday arrested a suspected Abu Sayyaf bomber on a ferry in Cebu on his way to Metro Manila with “enough explosives to kill hundreds of people,” an official said yesterday.
The war against al Qaeda and its affiliates is underway in the Philippines, in case you hadn't noticed.

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